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Jermain Defoe believes Kobbie Mainoo and Cole Palmer make England more dynamic

England's young talents Kobbie Mainoo and Cole Palmer can give England more attacking impetus heading into the knockout stage of Euro 2024, according to former striker Jermain Defoe.

While England may have secured qualification for the last 16 as winners of Group C, the underwhelming goalless draw against Slovenia in Cologne on Tuesday night left more questions over the direction of Gareth Southgate's squad.

The introduction of Manchester United midfielder Mainoo at the start of the second half did at least spark some forward momentum, which was further improved when Chelsea forward Palmer was sent on — with Newcastle winger Anthony Gordon also coming on in the closing minutes.

Defoe — who scored 20 goals in 57 international appearances, playing at both the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and at Euro 2012 — feels Southgate could well look to utilise all three again when England return to action in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday against one of the best third-placed teams, which could be the Netherlands.

"People have spoken about a lack of movement, that the team is not dynamic enough, but I think there has to be an identity," Defoe told the PA news agency.

"We are too good of a team, if you look at the players that we have — especially in the forward areas.

"Of course, if you spoke to the players, they know they take responsibility, they know it should be a lot better.

"Yes we have qualified, but it was more of a performance more than anything else everyone was looking for, a reaction from the first few games.

"But it is difficult because when you play against these teams who sit back, you have to move the ball quick and when you do create the chances then you have to take them."

Mainoo's introduction certainly saw a quicker transition up to Harry Kane, which was followed by Palmer and then eventually Gordon offering another option down the flank to stretch Slovenia.

"I think Mainoo will come into the team (for the next game). He is someone who passes forward," Defoe said.

"I also felt Cole Palmer made a difference. How he has played with the season he had at Chelsea, he is someone that can just create something out of nothing.

"Then there is Gordon with his pace — when he came on, the first thing he did was knock the ball past the defender. Yes the ball ran out of play, but by doing that it just forces teams back a little bit.

“We have got lots of options, but it will just be interesting to see if Gareth will use these kind of players.“

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